Customer Reviews for

Totally Joe

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
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5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Meet Joe. You'll be glad you did!

As an English class assignment for his seventh grade class, Joe writes an 'alphabiography' - the story of his life from A to Z. In the process Joe finds the courage to come out as gay to his parents and friends, to deal with school bullies, to find not one, but two boyf...
As an English class assignment for his seventh grade class, Joe writes an 'alphabiography' - the story of his life from A to Z. In the process Joe finds the courage to come out as gay to his parents and friends, to deal with school bullies, to find not one, but two boyfriends, starting a Gay/Straight Alliance in his school and so much more. It is truly rare to find a positive voice for young gay kids (and their family and friends). Joe comes across as just a normal young teen. Joe is no hero, he's just himself. totally Joe. Joe's life lesson for parents :" Love your kids. Let them play with Barbies. Let them pick out the stuff in their bedroom (Hello). And don't tell them that 'people like that' make you uptight, because for all you know your kids could be 'people like that' as well." Out of the mouth of babes... An excellent book for all young teens (and pre-teens) who are gay or lesbian or are unsure; (or even those whose friend or family member might be). I'm glad I met Joe. I'm sure you will be too.

posted by iluvvideo on August 24, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Reader Review for a YA Audience

This novel is a very entertaining look into the life of a homosexual 12-year-old boy. Joe has written an "alphabiography" for an assignment in his writing class. Going from A to Z, he describes the many things in his life that take place between October and March. Th...
This novel is a very entertaining look into the life of a homosexual 12-year-old boy. Joe has written an "alphabiography" for an assignment in his writing class. Going from A to Z, he describes the many things in his life that take place between October and March. The trials he faces for being a gay teenager are presented in a very realistic way. The acceptance he longs for in his family and the community are relatable to all teens. Also, it is a good YA novel to show the power of individuality and a character that has enough strength to stand up for what he believes in. The novel has some interesting characters that add depth to the story and present the different struggles with being a pre-teen in school today. I would recommend this book for all ages to study the struggle of acceptance in society.

posted by Sarah_SVSU on February 23, 2010

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Meet Joe. You'll be glad you did!

    As an English class assignment for his seventh grade class, Joe writes an 'alphabiography' - the story of his life from A to Z. In the process Joe finds the courage to come out as gay to his parents and friends, to deal with school bullies, to find not one, but two boyfriends, starting a Gay/Straight Alliance in his school and so much more. It is truly rare to find a positive voice for young gay kids (and their family and friends). Joe comes across as just a normal young teen. Joe is no hero, he's just himself. totally Joe. Joe's life lesson for parents :" Love your kids. Let them play with Barbies. Let them pick out the stuff in their bedroom (Hello). And don't tell them that 'people like that' make you uptight, because for all you know your kids could be 'people like that' as well." Out of the mouth of babes... An excellent book for all young teens (and pre-teens) who are gay or lesbian or are unsure; (or even those whose friend or family member might be). I'm glad I met Joe. I'm sure you will be too.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    I read this book in one day- I couldn't put it down. Joe just seemed so much like a real person, I wanted to find out more and more about him and his life. I recommend this book to anyone- gay or straight- because it shows you how you should just be yourself, whoever you are and it helps you to understand how, if we just try, we can overcome all of the discrimination.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Answer

    Yes, joe does get romantically involved with a boy.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Totally Joe

    This book was a wonderful take on just how hard it is to be a kid these days. I may not be gay, but he makes me understand him so I don't get lost in all the delightful writing. This book is worth reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Totally Real

    This book was so great and incredibly real! Joe is such a postive representation of the struggle of finding who you are and where you fit. I think it is refreshing to see a book with a young character coming out as gay. It is more common of a topic than some may realize and Joe is a good rolemodel that children, young adults, and beyond can relate to and appreciate.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    Omg

    This book is so weird and my teacher starts talking about why it is okay to say gay in school, and for those who didnt read this, U will know why it is good to say it and what an alphabiography

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Three stars for Nook format, pulled up to four stars by an emine

    Three stars for Nook format, pulled up to four stars by an eminently readable story. In dead-tree format I would give it five stars. I haven't read The Misfits; based Totally Joe I plan to. I definitely want to read more about the Gang of Five.

    Unfortunately, the Nook does not handle footnotes. At all. So the last sixth of the book (on the Nook) is the footnotes from the first 5/6 of the book, one footnote per page, with no connection between a footnote and the point in the body of the story where it is referenced. This may be a limitation of the e-book format, but it makes some (relatively minor) aspects of the story nearly inaccessible.

    Buy this book! Joe Bunch is a totally engaging main character, and the book left me wanting to know more about each of the members of the Gang of Five. But buy it in print - the e-book format just doesn't work in this case.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    OMG

    BEST BOOK AND I READ IT IN 4-5 HOURS!!!! I COULDNT PUT IT DOWN! JOE BUNCH IS A LOVEABLE CHARATER... I READ THE MISFITS IN SCHOOL SO I HAVE LOTS IF BACKGROUN!!! THATS ALL FOLKS P.S. u should get the misfits too cause that was amazing

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Addressing Heavy Issues in a Lighthearted Way

    Totally Joe is the fictional "alphabiography" that middle school student Joe Bunch is asked to write for a class. Joe's writing reveals him to be personable, funny, and optimistic. Much of his "alphabiography" addresses the opposition he faces as a gay student. Throughout history, people have tried to dehumanize or demonize suppressed groups in order to justify their discrimination. This book does an excellent job promoting respectful treatment of GLBT individuals by humanizing them. Young adults of any sexual orientation will find Joe Bunch extremely likable and exuberant. The book helps young heterosexual people to realize that young people that are gay are people too. This book is also excellent for young people who are battling with their sexuality. They may be able to relate to the trials that Joe faces and find hope and help in how Joe handles those situations. Though some of Joe's problems may be solved a little too easily, this book still raises awareness of problems pertinent to young people's experience in twenty-first century schools, such as bullying, name-calling, and intolerance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    Totally Joe

    Totally Joe by James Howe is a unique documentation of a young boy entering his teenage years. Joe describes his feelings and circumstances through an alphabiography, and shares with the reader the life lessons he has learned. As Joe enters puberty, he becomes aware of his sexual identity and realizes that he is "different" than most of the other boys his age. Joe establishes a few friendships with other boys however he is faced with hateful name calling, isolation, and fear. Through the help of his true friends, Joe is able to openly admit he is gay, and decides that he just wants to be accepted for being himself.
    Howe addresses additional social issues throughout his novel. Not only is homosexuality an issue, Joe's friend Addie is a vegetarian, his Aunt Pam deals with drug issues and abuse, and the Gang of Five is a group of four kids who everyone makes fun of. These social issues are applicable in the lives of middle and high school students today.
    Totally Joe is written with both a humorous and serious tone. Joe's attempts to make light of his homosexual relationships result in the creation of "No Name Calling" Day. Through the use of humor, Howe explicably relays the true consequences and feelings of the characters as they live outside the social norm.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2010

    Totally Joe Review

    James Howe's Totally Joe is written in the form of an Alphabiography (a biography in which each chapter is represented by a different letter of the alphabet) written by the main character, Joe Bunch, for a school project. Through it, we gain an intimate into the characters innerworkings. The reader is allowed the privilege of watching an especially charismatic young man form his sense of self which is hindered by his closeted homosexuality but even more so by his tormentor, Kevin Hennessey. I especially enjoyed reading this book. I was enveloped by the story and ended up reading it in one sitting. It is a great story and on top of that it is chock full of morals. Totally Joe is the sequel to the book, The Misfits, that inspired No-Name Calling Week. Appropriately, the theme of tolerance plays a prominent role in this story as well.
    I would recommend this book to most everyone. The only possible objection I could see someone having to this book is the fact that the main character is gay. In my opinion, that is a rather trivial point to object to because the message the story conveys is enormously important.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Reader Review for a YA Audience

    This novel is a very entertaining look into the life of a homosexual 12-year-old boy. Joe has written an "alphabiography" for an assignment in his writing class. Going from A to Z, he describes the many things in his life that take place between October and March. The trials he faces for being a gay teenager are presented in a very realistic way. The acceptance he longs for in his family and the community are relatable to all teens. Also, it is a good YA novel to show the power of individuality and a character that has enough strength to stand up for what he believes in. The novel has some interesting characters that add depth to the story and present the different struggles with being a pre-teen in school today. I would recommend this book for all ages to study the struggle of acceptance in society.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    i liked it

    This book gave me a better look on gay poeple becuase it shows that no matter how big, how small, or whether they want a boyfriend or a girl firend we're all the same. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    ????T.T????

    How do you come out to your parents or other relatives if they might not like it? I am only 12 but I am serious about it. I have thought about if I am gay for almost a year and am ready to tell people. More than one answer is appreciated! Reply to @rainbowflagg.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    You shouldn't read this if you are against gays

    It just talks about being gay.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Where did you find this?

    Nooks finds and best of are becoming a no person land of discards and remands and where do they get the reviews?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    @rainbowflagg

    Being gay is wrong. God does not want you to be gay.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Looks good

    This bok looks really good I did not have a chance to read it yet but I am looking fowered too.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Adventure Time

    When im older, i am going to get my name legally changed to First: Finn Middle: The Last: Human

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    AMAZING!!!!!!!

    So this book is the sequal to another great book "The Misfits" also by James Howe. This book describes how the main character Joe finds himself. He has 3 friends who have been through thick and thin with him. Two of his friends are dating and he has a crush. But Joe is gay and he is scared to tell his parents. This book is great; I couldnt put it down and neither will you. You will totally enjoy this boys journey and will admire how he is so fine with being himself even when he is being bullied for it. He figures he is who he is and thats that. Totally Joe. : )

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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